Windsor Locks graduate and All-Star gymnast to continue sport in college

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Windsor, Windsor Locks - posted Thu., Jun. 20, 2013
Amber Hill performs a routine at one of her many competitions. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Sports are a positive outlet for young people, giving them the opportunity to stay active, learn about teamwork, grow and develop, along with helping them to achieve their goals. Sometimes it leads them far down the path to excellence in a sport they love.

This has been the case for Amber Hill, a recent Windsor Locks High School graduate, who has taken several life lessons from gymnastics. Hill began participating in club gymnastics when she was approximately 4 years old. “Gymnastics has taught me a lot of life lessons, like confidence and strength and the ability to do work and work hard,” said Hill.

She has been practicing the sport under coach Mary Elges at the All Star Gymnastics Academy in Windsor since it opened in 2005. Her favorite event in gymnastics is bar, where she is known to excel.

Hill has been competing since she was 9 years old, and over the years has had the opportunity to move up levels and participate in many competitions. Once she reached Level 9, she became involved with the Junior Olympics Eastern Championship, which includes the eastern half of the U.S. In 2011 she placed second out of 26 gymnasts at the competition.

As she finished her final years of high school, Hill was able to reach the highest level of gymnastics. Last year she made Level 10, qualifying her for the Junior Olympics National Championship. This year's competition was held in Minneapolis, Minn., at the beginning of May.

“It was a great experience, being able to compete against girls from all over the country,” said Hill.

Michelle Hill, Amber's mother, commended her for her performance at nationals and is proud of Amber's accomplishments, especially in regard to achieving nationals for the last two years. The competition hosted 450 of the best gymnasts in the country, 57 of which Amber competed against, according to Michelle.

Next year, Amber plans to continue her career as a member of the gymnastics team at the University of Bridgeport. The team, Purple Knights Gymnastics, is a five-time national champion, according to Michelle.

“Whenever I got a new skill or had a really good routine, I would send that video to the coach, and when I met him in person we talked about being on the team,” said Amber.

Amber is excited to attend college and have the opportunity to experience life as an adult making responsible decisions.

“My daughter's journey with club gymnastics has been filled with lots of hard work, dedication, motivation, laughter, struggles and tears; but without all these experiences, Amber would not be the leader she is today,” said Michelle.

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